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Glos v Kent: Denly and Northeast stand inspires Kent win

Thursday 21st May 2015

Men’s First Team

Joe Denly and Sam Northeast batted Kent to their first LV= County Championship win of the season on the final day against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Denly was 117 not out and captain Northeast unbeaten on 88 as the visitors reached their target of 241 with eight wickets and 29 overs to spare to claim 20 points to Gloucestershire's three.
Kent were 35 for two at one point, but Denly struck 12 fours and three sixes in reaching his hundred off 179 balls – it was the first time he had reached three figures in first-class cricket since May 2012.
Northeast provided solid support and once the shine went off the ball the result was never in serious doubt.
The tone for the day was set by the very first ball, which saw Gloucestershire lose their last second-innings wicket on 282.
Matt Taylor clipped a catch to mid-wicket off Ivan Thomas, who finished with four for 53, and the home side's hopes of adding 10 or 20 more valuable runs were dashed.
Even so, a close contest looked in the offing when Kent opener Daniel Bell-Drummond fell with the total on only three, snapped up at second slip by Chris Dent off Craig Miles.
Gloucestershire's bowlers maintained a testing line and length with the new ball and the second breakthrough came when Brendan Nash, who had played positively for his 25, was well caught by diving wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick in Liam Norwell's first over of the innings.
That gave Norwell five wickets in the match and took his first-class tally for the season to 33. But it was as good as it got for Gloucestershire as their opponents progressed to 85 for two at lunch, with Denly unbeaten on 29 and Northeast 23 not out.
With the sun shining in clear skies, the pair made hay in the afternoon session, playing with increasing confidence as the boundaries started to flow.
Denly began to go for his shots and there were few alarms as Northeast also started to flow against the softer ball.
The job had virtually been done when Denly reached there figures with a pull shot off Taylor that brought his 12th four. There were also three sixes in his hundred.
It was his 15th four that sealed Kent's win, with Northeast still there, having faced 146 balls and hit 14 boundaries. For Gloucestershire, it was a second home defeat following excellent away wins over Essex and Lancashire.
Victorious Kent skipper Northeast said: "Everything suddenly seems to be going in the right direction. We thought that was the case going into the game and we have now recorded a very good victory on top of a promising start in the T20.
"I'm thrilled for Joe Denly because he had really been striving for that hundred. But it was a great team effort and the bowlers, led by Matt Coles, did a brilliant job, particularly on day three when the pitch had flattened out."